The King's Orders
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And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
And the king said unto the woman, Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.
And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be strong therefore, and show yourself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself:read more.
That the LORD may continue his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, If your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you (said he) a man on the throne of Israel. Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his belt that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to your wisdom, and let not his gray head go down to the grave in peace. But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at your table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom your brother. And, behold, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I swore to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for you are a wise man, and know what you ought to do unto him; but his gray head bring you down to the grave with blood.
And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water:
At the same time came to them Tattenai, governor on this side of the river, and Shethar-bozenai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who has commanded you to build this house, and to restore this wall?
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.read more.
And whosoever remains in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with animals, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
Now therefore, if it seems good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which is there at Babylon, whether it be so, that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.
In the first year of Cyrus the king, the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be built, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let its foundations be strongly laid; its height threescore cubits, and its breadth threescore cubits; With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expenses be given out of the king's house: And also let the golden and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to its place, and place them in the house of God.
Now this is the copy of the letter that king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and so forth. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, who are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you.read more.
For as you are sent by the king, and by his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, And all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: That you may buy promptly with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. And whatsoever shall seem good to you, and to your brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do according to the will of your God. The articles also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those you shall deliver before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to provide, provide it out of the king's treasure house. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done promptly, Unto a hundred talents of silver, and to a hundred cors of wheat, and to a hundred baths of wine, and to a hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also we inform you, that concerning any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. And you, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand, set magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.
If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she. And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both to great and small.
If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.read more.
Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's satraps, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people according to their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring. And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. The couriers went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the citadel. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.